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Florida Homestead Exemption: Everything you need to know!

Everything you need to know to file for Florida Homestead Exemption

The Florida Homestead Exemption is a benefit available to homeowners in the state of Florida, aimed at providing property tax relief to permanent residents. If you’re a first-time homebuyer in Florida, here’s an explanation of the Homestead Exemption:

What is the Florida Homestead Exemption?

The Homestead Exemption is a legal provision in Florida that reduces the taxable value of real property for qualified homeowners, ultimately lowering their property tax liability. It is applicable to a primary residence, known as a homestead, and is intended to make home ownership more affordable.

Key Features and Requirements:

  1. Primary Residence:
    • The property must be your primary residence, where you live permanently.
  2. Ownership and Residency:
    • You must own and occupy the property as of January 1st of the tax year for which you are applying.
  3. Filing Deadline:
    • The application for the Homestead Exemption must be submitted by March 1st of the tax year. Late applications are typically not accepted.
  4. Florida Residency:
    • You must be a legal resident of Florida to qualify.
  5. Benefit Amount:
    • The Homestead Exemption exempts up to $25,000 of the assessed value of the property from property taxes.
    • The first $25,000 of the assessed value is entirely exempt.
    • For assessed values between $50,000 and $75,000, an additional $25,000 exemption applies.
  6. Save on Property Taxes:
    • The exemption can result in significant savings on property taxes, making homeownership more affordable.

How to Apply:

  1. File an Application:
    • You need to file an application with the property appraiser’s office in the county where your property is located.
    • The application form is usually available online or at the appraiser’s office.
    • Apply Online Here
  2. Required Documentation:
    • You may need to provide proof of ownership, residency, and Florida citizenship.
  3. Application Deadline:
    • As mentioned earlier, the application must be submitted by March 1st.
  4. Renewal:
    • In most cases, you only need to apply once. However, you should check with the local property appraiser’s office for any additional requirements or changes.

Additional Considerations:

  • Portability:
    • Florida’s “Save Our Homes” amendment allows homeowners to transfer their Homestead Exemption benefits within the state when moving to a new homestead property.
  • Additional Exemptions:
    • There may be additional exemptions for certain groups, such as senior citizens, disabled veterans, and others. Check with the local property appraiser’s office for details.

Always consult with the property appraiser’s office in the county where your property is located for the most accurate and up-to-date information. They can provide guidance on the specific requirements and procedures for your area.

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